Though full albums often come together to create a complex story and message, the same can be said for simple songs. Singles can paint just as vivid and important a message as a 30 minute or more record. Short, sweet, and to the point, they become perfect introductions to new artists emerging from the music scene, or for well-loved artists kicking off a new era of sound. This week brought us some singles from up-and-coming vocalists and artists who are sure to take the industry by storm, as well as new eras and tunes from some of the most popular of names on the charts. These are this week’s #NewMusic picks…
Katy Perry // Chained to the Rhythm (feat. Skip Marley) (Single)
With one track, Katy Perry takes the charts and simultaneously begins a new album era. This has been the tried-and-true tradition of the California superstar. While previous years have given us songs such a “I Kissed a Girl,” “California Gurls,” and “Roar,” 2017 brings the beginning of Perry’s fourth album era in a disco-pop track that solidifies her place as a true queen of the genre. Co-written by Sia (is there anything she doesn’t do?) and featuring a powerful guest verse from Skip Marley, “Chained to the Rhythm” is a perfect upbeat and danceable song with a darker underlying message. Clearly inspired by our current politics, Perry references former President Barack Obama’s farewell address and describes the blindness of our nation to the corruption of the presidency. It’s a deep and dark tone for a pop song, but Katy Perry pulls it off perfectly. If this is any indication, Katy Perry’s fourth record will be a shimmering pop dystopia, and hopefully will finally win her the Grammy recognition she so deserves.
SNOW CULTURE // No Sleep (Single)
It’s a well-known fact that the best music comes from Sweden. Producers like Max Martin and Shellback have had an astounding amount of success, and artists like Robyn, Lykke Li, Icona Pop, and more prove the caliber of music that comes out of the Scandinavian country. SNOW CULTURE are just the next in a long list. Coming out of the woodwork of the Swedish scene, SNOW CULTURE make their debut with a dark, upbeat, and moody track that is blanketed with a feel of thick snow under a starry night sky. Joining Lizzy Palpinger’s Neon Gold label, SNOW CULTURE are among good company (including Tove Lo, Charli XCX, and Marina and the Diamonds). If the success of those names is any indication, SNOW CULTURE will be sending in a storm.
Ama Lou // Said It Already (Single)
Ama Lou is only 18 years old, but her age doesn’t factor into the mature sound she presents in her latest single. Opening with a thick drone of synth and drums, Ama Lou’s low soulful voice floats over crisp production to create a unique alt-R&B song “on the tension that is created from mixed ideals that lie in gap between multiple generations and what the younger generation’s ideas and developed normalities have to play against.” With a rich voice and mature sound, “Said It Already” is only the beginning of what Ama Lou has in store, and will surely begin to put her on more listener’s radars.
Sigrid // Don’t Kill My Vibe (Single)
The best music comes from Sweden, yes? Well, this is true. But we must also broaden this statement. The entire Scandinavian peninsula exports amazing pop. Sigrid comes from Norway, and is demonstrating this with full steam on her major label debut. “Don’t Kill My Vibe” is the perfect alt-pop track, with a catchy hook, large production, and angsty lyrics. Though the track comes on slow and quiet, this soon grows larger until it comes to an explosive end. For fans of Dua Lipa, Bishop Briggs, or MØ, Sigrid is sure to be your latest obsession.
Desiigner // Outlet (Single)
Last year was truly the year of Desiigner. After being featured on Kanye’s latest effort, The Life of Pablo, the young Brooklyn MC’s track “Panda” grew to massive success, even earning him a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Performance. With “Outlet,” Desiigner proves that his winning streak isn’t finished. Featuring huge production with the rapper’s signature acrobatics, “Outlet” is a banger of a track, a hype anthem for the new year, and the perfect way to kick off his latest tour. With all that he’s done so far, Desiigner is putting Brooklyn on the map with a sound straight from Atlanta.
It’s Valentine’s Day! So as a gift to you, through a link on the top of the site (or sidebar on mobile… or here if you’d rather), you can access some playlists: our ongoing #NewMusic playlist, with these and previous selections included, as well as a special Valentine’s playlist for those of you who are dancing on your own this February 14th. Power to the singles!